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Women are Carrying Canadian Households Through the Pandemic, Study Says

Woman looking at the camera assertively

Turns out that during COVID-19, sisters are doin’ it for themselves—and their entire families too.

A new poll has found that women have been carrying most Canadian households on their backs through the pandemic. 

CIBC conducted a survey that found Canadian women are assuming significantly more responsibilities than men, from childcare to taking the lead in family finances.

Related: Pandemic is harder on women than men, research says.

Girl mom work at home with internet laptop effect from covid-19 virus disease happy to stay with her children.

Canadian women are taking on even more responsibility during the pandemic

With kids stuck at home due to COVID-related school closures, females are evidently feeling the weight of parenthood the most. (I mean, what’s new, right?) The survey found that 65 percent of women were supervising schoolwork for their children, in contrast to only 38 percent of men. The brunt of childcare responsibilities also fell mostly on women (60 percent) compared to men (28 percent). What’s more, the disparity remains nearly just as high for females who are employed full-time.

Women are apparently also inordinately good at multitasking. Many are in charge of family finances, with six out of ten (61 percent) polled saying they take care of paying the household bills, while a similar number (59 percent) oversee household budgeting. Nearly half are in charge of making long-term savings plans for their families (49 percent), as well as deciding how to invest their household’s money (48 percent).

“With household duties rising during the pandemic environment, Canadian women are proving to be the warriors that are carrying their families through these difficult times,” says Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, CIBC Financial and Investment Advice. The survey, which took place in January, was of 3,024 randomly selected Canadian adults.

“It’s important to acknowledge the workload women are carrying today, but few have clear plans of their own for savings and retirement, and that could create long-term gaps in their financial well-being,” Lucreziano continues.

Related: Canadians are struggling with anxiety and depression more than ever, according to poll.



Woman looking at stocks on her tablet

But financial self-care is being overlooked for Canadian women

Indeed, despite all the work women have been putting in, the poll found that few are practising financial self-care. A mere 17 percent reported having clear plans for retirement, while a quarter (25 percent) didn’t know how much they would need in savings to feel financially comfortable. Meanwhile, 38 percent didn’t have an investment portfolio. 

It would appear that while women are coming through in the clutch for their households during COVID-19, their own financial ambitions have been placed on the backburner. That’s no bueno. Put your own monetary oxygen mask on first, goes that old analogy. 

There’s a larger conversation to be had here, but the takeaway is this: Women still aren’t getting equality at home, even when they’re the breadwinners. A global pandemic has only exacerbated that fact; it certainly hasn’t made balancing home and work life any less challenging. And yet, women are still out here doing the most.

See also: 10 affordable self-care strategies for your mental health.

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